Kentucky: Council on Postsecondary Education

Council on Postsecondary Education
Kentucky makes strides in college, career preparation

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, April 04, 2006  
Contact Information:  Sue Patrick

(FRANKFORT, Ky.) -- A report presented recently to the State P-16 Council cites several improvements Kentucky has made in the areas of college and career preparation and college participation over the past decade. The report also suggests strategies that Kentucky could take to improve degree completion rates.

Sponsored by the Southern Regional Education Board and the League for Innovation in the Community College, the report discussed findings of a March 2005 forum that brought together 28 Kentucky state education and policy leaders to identify strategies to improve students’ transitions from high school to postsecondary education.

Gene Bottoms, senior vice president of the Southern Regional Education Board, presented the findings to the P-16 Council.  The Council will use the findings to inform goal setting for next year.

“Building Transitions from High School to College and Careers for Kentucky’s Youth” showed Kentucky students’ preparedness for college and careers has improved and participation in Advanced Placement and distance learning courses has increased over the past decade.

The report also cites other progress, including employer-based credentials as a part of Kentucky’s high school and postsecondary standards and college-readiness standards approved by the state’s postsecondary institutions.

Kentucky is one of only eight states that showed improvement in college participation over the past decade, according to the report. The report also found that the chance of enrolling in college by age 19 in Kentucky increased 11 percent, compared with a 3 percent decline nationwide.

Tom Layzell, president of the Council on Postsecondary Education, said Kentucky’s progress was due in large part to its collaborative approach of bringing together all sectors to improve the quality of education. He commended the work of the P-16 Council for its role in advancing the education reforms and the Council’s Public Agenda.

“This progress shows that Kentucky’s P-16 Council has been instrumental in bringing our K-12, adult and postsecondary educators together around the common goals of raising Kentucky’s level of educational attainment and improving our quality of life,” he said.

“It is now time to build upon these efforts to accelerate the progress,” Layzell added.

The report also discussed Kentucky’s challenges in improving the transition from high school to college, including improving persistence and completion rates. Several strategies are suggested including tracking student persistence rates, improving developmental education, and involving parents in students’ choice of courses.

The State P-16 Council, created in 1999, advises the Kentucky Board of Education and the Council on Postsecondary Education on the preparation of teachers, the alignment of competency standards, and the elimination of barriers impeding successful transitions from pre-school through college.

In other business, the State P-16 Council:

  • Heard results of a dual enrollment study and preliminary findings of a survey conducted by the Council on Postsecondary Education. Preliminary results show that KCTCS is the largest provider of dual enrollment courses and that the most common courses students enroll in are technical and occupational.  The Council plans to conduct further analysis on dual enrollment.
  • Received an update on the State Educational Leadership Redesign Initiative, which is a collaborative effort to redesign the preparation program for school principal. Recommendations will be presented to the Education Professional Standards Board later this year.
  • Heard that the 2002 High School Feedback Report will be released in May. Produced by the Council on Postsecondary Education in cooperation with ACT, Inc., the report will provide information about high school graduates’ performance during their first year in college.

To access P-16 Council meeting agenda and materials, visit


Kentucky's postsecondary education system encompasses eight public institutions and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, numerous independent institutions and Kentucky Adult Education. The system represents 235,083 students, 538,866 Kentucky alumni and 294,896 GED recipients. When Kentuckians earn postsecondary degrees, their skills improve and their wages go up; they are more likely to lead healthy lives and be engaged in their communities; and they build better futures for themselves and their families.


Last Updated 4/4/2006